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Media Decisions and COVID-19

Media Decisions and COVID-19

Written by enCOMPASS Agency

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is at the top of everyone’s mind. If you are running a company, there are myriads of decisions that need to be made. In this article, we are going to focus on only one aspect of those decisions – your media plans. At enCOMPASS Agency, we plan and buy virtually all forms of media for our clients and want to use our expertise to help you make the best, most informed decisions for your own media plans.

It’s too early to determine how long this decline will last or what impact COVID-19 will have in the US, but now is the time to start asking some tough questions. How do we combat this in our market? Where do we shift our messaging? Where do we pull back? Where do we get more aggressive? It’s in crisis that innovation is born. It’s time to look at your marketing and media plan through a different, innovative lens and disconnect from the “same old” tactics that we have relied on for so long.

The most pressing data to consider is that with more people at home we are already seeing a spike in online activity and your website statistics are likely showing this as well. With more people shopping online and a more captive audience spending more time on social media, online video and search, how do we use our marketing wisely during this time?

Here is what to consider from a media standpoint:

  • Cancel:
    • Events and on-site displays are not going to be effective as most are being shut down and at the time of this article the CDC is recommending against holding events of 50+ attendees.
    • Cable sports buys: Most sporting events have been cancelled. Instead of moving this budget into another form of cable programming, consider moving it to online video.
  • Cancel/Minimize:
    • Out of home advertising (cinema, airport, railway, billboards). With fewer people commuting and travelling, this medium is worth a fraction of what companies are likely paying.
  • Minimize:
    • Broadcast TV Schedules: In recent years, sports and news programming is the bulk of local TV buys. Sporting events are all but cancelled. And while you may have a captive audience during the news, you need to ask yourself if the doom and gloom messaging that is so pervasive right now is what you want people associating with your brands.
    • Terrestrial Radio: With the vast amounts of people working from home or self-quarantining, drive time radio buys that we have depended on in the past are not going to deliver the audience we are used to, thus driving up the cost per thousand at a possibly exponential rate.
  • Maintain/Increase:
    • Digital Marketing: Online usage is skyrocketing. Consumers are going to be at home and consuming online media at a much higher rate as they work from home and/or self-quarantine. They will be spending more time watching online videos, listening to their Pandora station out loud, communicating and getting their news via social media, and searching online for goods and services they have not had the time to give their attention to in the past. If we need to cut any budget due to a downturn in business, these should be the last things that are cut.
  • Maximize/Increase:
    • Email Marketing: During this critical time, communication with your customers and potential clients is key. Do not be afraid to “over communicate.” Share what your company is doing to keep your employees and customers safe, provide valuable information about changes in your hours and/or policies. Reach out…and then reach out some more.

If you have strong cash reserves, then it’s advisable to keep your online media heavy during this unprecedented time. If you can do this, when the crisis is over your business will be at the top of everyone’s mind. This will allow your brand to rebound quicker than those who could not afford to keep their messaging strong while customers are a more captive audience than ever before.

If you have any questions or would like help managing your media plan, please reach out to our team at enCOMPASS Advertising Agency today. We’re here to help!

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